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Blackstone, Investa ink Sydney deals; MGM Cotai expected to drive Macau rents up


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Blackstone, Investa ink Sydney deals; MGM Cotai expected to drive Macau rents up

* In separate agreements, Blackstone Group LP and Investa Property Group have found buyers for the buildings that they respectively put up for sale in Sydney, The Australian reported.

Blackstone has officially signed a deal to sell its tower at 1 Castlereagh St. to Hong Kong-based Early Light International Group for over A$220 million, while the unlisted Investa Commercial Property Fund has chosen to divest for A$229 million its office-retail building at 130 Pitt St. to PA Realty, a joint venture between CLSA Real Estate and Mitsubishi Estate Co. Ltd.

* In Macau, the impending launch of the MGM Cotai integrated casino, hotel and entertainment resort in Cotai, owned by MGM Resorts International subsidiary MGM China Holdings Ltd., is expected to drive rent prices in the area by about 5% in 2018, the South China Morning Post reported, citing Thomas Lam, head of valuation and consultancy at Knight Frank in Hong Kong.

MGM Cotai, which cost HK$27 billion to build, is scheduled to open Jan. 29, 2018, following multiple launch delays since 2016.


* Aveo Group Ltd. is refusing to back down from the challenge of a A$160 million class action filed by law firm Levitt Robinson on behalf of about 2,000 Aveo Village residents. The Australian reported that the retirement village operator pledged to defend itself against the lawsuit, trial of which is expected to begin in late 2018.

* The Australian Tax Office is gearing up to move out of buildings owned by Scentre Group and LaSalle Investment Management Australia Pty. Ltd. in Brisbane's central business district. The Australian Financial Review reported that the government agency has tapped Cushman & Wakefield to assist it with its search for up to 24,000 square meters of space in the city, which it intends to occupy by 2019.

* Abacus Property Group and Heitman LLC sold the last two assets held by their A$600 million joint venture. Divested were two office buildings, one in Sydney and one in Brisbane, for A$80 million and A$50 million, respectively.

* Centuria Capital Group is bidding for the headquarters of the Transport Accident Commission in Geelong, Victoria, which is being sold by Impact Investment Group for roughly A$115 million, The Australian reported.

* Hong Kong-listed China Aoyuan Property Group Ltd. purchased a portfolio of three residential sites in Sydney for A$100.0 million.

* Logistics company LOGOS Property, in partnership with Swiss fund manager Partners Group, bought a 22.16-hectare industrial site on the Gold Coast for more than A$20 million from Colgate-Palmolive, the AFR reported.

IPE Real Assets also reported on the acquisition, noting that the industrial infill site is intended for a A$100 million logistics facility.

Hong Kong, China and Macau

* Hong Kong's acting secretary for housing, Raymond So, has rejected a group of lawmakers' call for a government investigation into Link Real Estate Investment Trust's HK$23 billion deal to sell a 17-mall portfolio in the city. The official maintained that Link REIT is a listed entity, adding that the government has little control over the affairs of the company.

* The contracted sales of Logan Property Holdings Co. Ltd., Powerlong Real Estate Holdings Ltd. and Yuexiu Property Co. Ltd. respectively grew 41.9%, 22.7% and 34% year over year in the 11 months ended Nov. 30 to roughly 38.14 billion yuan, about 18.16 billion yuan and nearly 35.91 billion yuan.

On the other hand, Shui On Land Ltd. and its subsidiaries saw a 58% year-on-year fall in contracted property sales for the first 11 months of 2017 to 8.83 billion yuan from about 21.08 billion yuan.

* The Construction Bank of China will invest 20 billion yuan in Country Garden Holdings Co. Ltd. for the development of long-term rental apartments in Shanghai, Yicai reports. The developer is launching the first 400 apartments under the scheme in December and plans to roll out 1 million more in other mainland cities over the next three years.

* Swiss bank UBS Group said the cooling of China's property market could result in a wide-scale consolidation of developers, noting that in the next three to five years, the number of Chinese property companies could dwindle to single-digit thousands or even hundreds from the current 30,000, the SCMP reported.

* Beijing has completed the target supply of 50,000 and the construction of 60,000 social housing units for 2017, The Paper reported. The city will provide 1,000 hectares of land for rental housing in the next five years.

* Hu Yifan, investment director for Asia and chief economist for China at UBS Wealth Management, forecasts growth in the property market to slow down in 2018, adding that regulatory policies will remain in place in China, Metro Radio Hong Kong reported.


* CapitaLand Retail China Trust received in-principle approval for the listing of new units on the local bourse as part of an offering to help fund its planned joint acquisition with CapitaLand Ltd. of the Rock Square mall in Guangzhou, China, for roughly 3.36 billion yuan.

* The public bidding for the 160-unit Brookvale Park site in the Sunset Way estate has commenced with a S$530 million reserve price. The site has the potential to be redeveloped into a building with up to 12 stories, 550 units and total gross floor area of 656,494 square feet.

* A group of private investors acquired for S$52.9 million the 17-unit Jervois Garden, one of the residential sites taken to the market in the heat of the en-bloc market in Singapore. The buyer of the freehold condominium development at 100A Jervois Rd. in District 10, with a site area of about 26,700 square feet, was a consortium led by Mike Ho, The (Singapore) Business Times reported.


* Mori Hills REIT Investment Corp. is seeking to register a ¥100 billion shelf of investment corporation bonds for proposed issuances between Dec. 14 and Dec. 13, 2019.

* Misawa Homes Co. Ltd. is entering the hotel industry with the opening of its first hotel in December, Tokyo's The Nikkei reported. The hotel in Kyoto was formerly an apartment complex, and the company plans to convert some of its other properties into hotels in a similar way.

* Sekisui House Ltd. will open a 60-room hotel on the premises of the Horyuji Temple in Nara Prefecture in the spring of 2019, The Nikkei reported. It is the company's second such hotel after one opened in April on the premises of Osaka's Tennoji Temple.

Other real estate news

* First Sponsor Group Ltd., in partnership with City Developments Ltd. and Tai Tak Estates Sdn. Bhd. agreed to buy the Le Méridien Frankfurt Hotel in Germany for €85.0 million.

The Daily Dose Asia-Pacific, Real Estate edition is updated by 6:30 a.m. Hong Kong time. Some external links may require a subscription. Articles and links are correct as of publication time.

Cam Nones, Emily Lai and Jaekwon Lim contributed to this report.

As of Dec. 6, US$1 was equivalent to 6.62 yuan, ¥112.25 and S$1.35.